When Oracle executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison took the stage Sunday night to deliver a keynote speech to open his company’s huge annual tech conference in San Francisco, he couldn’t help but throw a few barbs (and a few unexpected compliments) at his rivals.
That’s classic Ellison.
For instance, he panned his historic competitors IBM and SAP, insisting that neither one of them have game in the cloud (although both of them would beg to differ). And he praised Microsoft for who he said has “crossed the chasm” and is now a genuine big deal in cloud.
He also slung some mud at Salesforce, the company run by his most successful disciple, Marc Benioff. (Benioff was working at Oracle when the idea for Salesforce was spawned, and Ellison was even an early investor, before the two companies started to compete and the friendship between the two men grew strained.)
On the one hand, Ellison admitted that Salesforce’s cloud business is still bigger than Oracle’s. On the other he insisted that Oracle’s cloud business is growing faster.
Benioff, who was clearly watching the keynote, responded with a Tweet that shows a chart he shared with investors last month.
The chart shows Salesforce overtaking two of the largest classic software vendors, Oracle and SAP, in its bread-and-butter market called customer relationship management (CRM) software. (That’s software that helps companies keep track of customers and prospects.) Salesforce now owns over 18% of the market, almost double what it had 5 years ago:
And Benioff threw a barb of his own, at Oracle CEO Mark Hurd.